Friday, March 28, 2014

Story # 3.4 Deam a Little Dream...

Rob sat in a darkened room, eating beans from a can.  He was staring off into space, as he chomped down slowly.

This boy had been through more in his short life than most adults endure through their entire life span.  He's seen a world crumble before his eyes.  He'd had a father abandon him in a dead world.  He has had to fight just to stay alive.  And, to top it off, he had to endure a double life shifting from his own mind to another's.  Suffice it to say, he's become very hardened to reality.

Linda, on the other hand, has had her mind blown in recent months.  Having once been a stay-at-home mom, she's had to endure her husband's collapse, his shifting mind, The Fleece and Pat, and now a world she thought she'd never have seen.  Although the world around Rob had hardened him, Linda found it all exhausting.

As Rob stared off, continuing to eat, Linda slept behind him.  Her eyes moved back and forth as she was now in REM sleep, dreams permeating her subconscious mind.  They say you dream a thousand dreams while you're in deep sleep.  You only remember the dreams going on right before you wake up.  And of course, sometimes you don't have dreams at all.

But as Linda slept on this day, a decaying world surrounding her, she had visions of a past life that was now long forgotten.

She saw the joy of bringing her children into the world.  She saw the day that she and Jay were married.  She could see the laughter, the love, and warmth of family.  Her life, as it seemed, was flashing before her, in continuous repeat.

Finally, she came to a moment that was shrouded in gray.  This didn't seem like a memory.  It seemed real.  Like she was in a different place.  The sun was shining, but all the color of the world was gone.  She was literally seeing things in black and white.  In the distance, there was a man, dressed all in black, standing against a deck rail, overlooking a mountain view.  It look like the Old Smokey Mountains to her.  A breathtaking view to say the least.  As she approached the man, he turned to reveal Jay.  He looked at his wife as she approached and began to smile at her.

Linda always loved Jay in black.  This moment was no different.  Finally, she stood right before him as he turned completely around to face her.  He took Linda's hands in his own and began to speak.

"Hey Linda.  I'm sorry I can't be with you right now.  But I want you to know, I'm still here.  They haven't taken me away from you yet.  They could never do it that easily."

Linda smiled at him.

"I told you I'd never leave you, and I never will.  This is not the end.  You have to find a way back to me.  I know you can do it.  I know you'll figure it out.  Their deceptions here are pretty powerful.  But nothing can overcome our love.  Nothing in this world, or any other."

Linda smiled even bigger, and began to cry.

"Linda, you have to find them.  Don't give up until you do.  They are still there, Linda.  They are waiting, patiently for someone to find them.  I know you can do it.  It's your only way home.  Once you do, we can be together forever.  Just remember, I'll always love you, no matter what.  Find them."

Linda nodded.

"Find them!"

Linda woke up, repeating Jay's final words out loud.  This grabbed Rob's attention.  He looked over his shoulder at the half awake Linda, who was looking around the room emphatically.

"Where....where is Jay?"

Rob rolled his eyes, "Did you forget where we are?"

Linda became aware of her surroundings again.  She realized she had just been dreaming.

"No, I haven't forgotten you little brat."

"Kiss my butt lady.  Not much gratitude for a guy that saved your neck."

Linda walked over to the shelf and got a can of beans herself, "You're no guy, little boy."

"I'm the only guy you've got right now, lady.  But that can change really quick if you like?"

Linda turned around and marched over to Rob.  She threw down both cans of beans and hoisted Rob up by his shirt.

"Hey!  Don't waste that, food is life around here.  Let go of my shirt, lady!"

"Who are they?"

"What?" asked Rob, utterly confused.

"Who are they?"

"Who is who?"

"Don't mess with me kid!  You know way too much about this world and you are that bastards son.  So you tell me who they are now?"

"I don't know what you're talking about, lady!  Now let go of my shirt!"

Linda let go all right.  She threw him to the ground.

Rob was not happy now, "What was all that for?  You want me to throw you back out there by yourself?  Let those things have their way with you when someone decides to take you out?"

"You said those things can be controlled?  Obviously your dad put me here and he must also control them, right?"

Rob said nothing.

"So where is he doing it from?"

Rob looked down, after that question.  He seemed a bit defeated.

Linda stepped towards him, "Where is he controlling everything from in this world, Rob?"

"Don't you think if I knew that I would go to your world permanently?  I'm just as much in the dark about that as you are.  I just know something controls them.  I really don't know for sure if it is my dad or someone else.  I just know they strike when they want to."

Linda could tell he wasn't lying.  He really didn't know where the control of the zombies was coming from.  He just knew they were being controlled.  And that was her new mission.  She had to convince Rob to help her, however.

"Well then let's go find who is controlling them?"

"What?", asked Rob.

Linda stepped toward him some more, her hands to her hips now, "I said, let's go find them."

"Lady, they could be anywhere in this world."

"My name is Linda, kid."

"Well, mine is Rob!"

"Fair, enough, Rob, will you help me find who is controlling all of this or not?  Don't you ever want to leave this world?"

"I was leaving this world, Linda.  Every time I got to be in your husband's body."

"That's not leaving, that's using someone."

"Well, it was working for me!"

Linda grabbed Rob's face and squeezed it.  This time Rob slapped her upside the head.  Linda took the blow, and immediately backhanded Rob back to the floor.  For a little woman, she packed quite a wallop.

As Rob righted himself, again, Linda pressed on, "I'm not asking you anymore, I'm telling you.  You're going to help me find them.  And then we're both getting out of this world."

Rob rubbed his face as he looked back up at Linda.  An obvious red marked filled up his right cheek.  Linda stood there, staring at him with cold intent.

Rob was a bit intimidated, and intrigued.  He'd never had someone really fight back with him before.  He had always used his childish appearance to get what he wanted in this world.  But Linda had stood up to him in her world before, so appearances made little difference to her now.

Rob finally stopped rubbing his face and look up at her again, "Ok."

He stood up beside her, as Linda continued her Wonder Woman pose.

"But one question, Linda, "he said rather sarcastically, "just who are they anyway?"

"I don't know, but Jay does, and that's good enough for me."

"How does Jay know?"

"He told me in a dream.  We have to find them."

Although Rob was skeptical, again, he was intrigued.  Intrigued more by Linda than her statement.

"All right, let's go find them.  You lead the way."

"No, I insist that you do.  That way I can keep my eye on you."

"Don't trust me?"

"Never will, little boy."

Rob did not like that response at all, but he gathered his stuff, as did Linda.

When they were both ready, they met at the door.

"You ready, ma'am?"

"After you, son."

That statement really made Rob mad, as he unbolted the door and they both exited the building.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Story # 3.3 Happiness Escapes Me

Jay laid in his bed, staring at the ceiling.  Just below his neck, lay Linda, snuggling up to him in bed together, the sheets draped over their naked bodies.

The kids were tucked in their own beds, sleeping the night away.  For the exception of the night shift crew of The Fleece, Jay was the only other person still awake.

He stared into the grainy, tiled ceiling of the room, pondering all that had happened to this point.  Not just since the whole dream shifting issue began, but everything.  Everything from the time he could begin remembering, until today.

Jay thought about his childhood, one of his first memories.  He remembered nearly being kidnapped as a child but some strange woman, right out of his grandmother's living room.  She walked in and snatched him up, even as Jay's family stood all around.  It was like time slowed down for everyone and everything, except him and the dark-headed woman.  She simply took him and intended on taking him further away.

Jay wondered, what might have happened had she succeeded in taking me?

Jay's thoughts were random, shifting to and from different memories.  He remembered the day he proposed to Linda.  It was a joyful moment for both of them, as he watched his bride-to-be cry tears of joy over a long awaited day that she wasn't certain would ever come.  Jay, for that matter, felt the same.  After all, Jay thought, what woman could put up with me and my ways for too long?

He shifted thoughts readily.  Another memory encompassed his walks across the stage to obtain his diploma, his degrees, and other such honors.  Another walk was the long one the day his son was born, as he nestled into his mother's arms and cried tears of both joy and heartache, as the delivery had not gone exactly according to plan.  In fact, at one moment, Jay thought he might lose his son.  He was worried about Linda too, as she was nearly torn open to bring their son into this world.  A frightening moment that Jay could truly count his blessings that the people he loved did in fact survive.

Jay recalled the first time he ever kissed someone.  It was as sweet as sugar spread all across his lips, as he ran his tongue around them and licked it off to enjoy the sweet and succulent flavor of ecstasy.  You never forget the first person you kissed, no matter how good or bad it might have been, from either person's perspective.

He remembered the heartache of rejection, by the first girl that ever rejected him.  By an instructor telling him he wasn't cut out to be a nurse.  By not receiving the job he so wanted.

He thought back on the pitfalls of his life, and the triumphs.  He remembered the "I dos" and the "I don'ts."  He remembered holding his babies, and being held like one.  He remembered running for fun, and running scared.

They all had one thing in common...

...there was no more happiness.

Not in this place.  Not in the place Jay was in now.

This whole dream situation had turned his entire world upside down.  This had been the first time he could really even think about it, rather than react to it.  Now, in this new place, The Fleece, and what Pat had just done, Jay had no clue what to think anymore.  He was a blank canvas, bereft of intrigue.  The happiness was gone, at least for now.  Jay hoped he could find it again, but it was going to take time.  This whole situation had tried him to his very core.  He was left feeling empty, hollow.  His whole life had become reaction to his environment and this series of events had called all of it into question.

But he was left with one thing.  The voice that had talked to him in his dream.    As Jay ran from the horde, that voice was a calming influence on him.  He still remembered what the voice had said.  "Do not be deceived.  You are not in control."

Jay looked down at the top of his wife's head.  The rhythmic movement of his chest rising and falling would allow Linda's head to rise and fall with it.  She laid their, resting, undisturbed by the fluid movement.  The rhythm probably aided her resting cycle.

He stared down at the crease in her hair, the shape of her nose, the length of her eyelashes.  Everything as perfectly placed as it had always been.  She was perfect to him, anyway.

But one thing stood out tonight.  One glaring, obvious difference that only Jay would be able to notice.  Everything, right down to the love that they had made, was exactly as it had always been.  Except for one thing.

Never, ever, not even one time in the history of their marriage, engagement, or courtship had Linda ever called Jay "Honey."

That was when Jay knew, Pat was his true enemy.  Somehow, someway, Pat had "replaced" his Linda with a perfect replica.  An actress.  But that actress' ad lib had already cost Pat dearly.

Jay would play along for as long as he could stand, but sooner or later, Jay was going to force that bald-headed twit to tell the truth.  Pat was going to tell him where his wife was at, and then he was going to tell him how to get her back.

Besides, if the man can read minds, then he is capable of anything.  The only problem for Pat, however, Jay knew he was capable of so much more now.

And Jay couldn't wait to unleash it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Story # 3.2 Wide Awake

"Good morning, Jay."

Jay awoke, the light blinding him from the ceiling of the room.  He held his hands up to protect himself some from the brightness, and looked in the direction of the voice that had just greeted him.

"We thought you'd never wake up."

Jay only saw the form of a man, then the image began to become clearer.  He could see the bald head, shining teeth, and piercing eyes of Pat standing before him.  In his hand, Pat extended a cup of coffee to his waking friend.

"Where am I?", Jay asked.

"You're at The Fleece", replied Pat, still extending the coffee towards Jay.

"My wife?  My children?"

"Jay, we need to talk..."

"No.  I need to see them first."


"No!  I had a dream about this, this very conversation, and it didn't go well!  I need to see my family, NOW!!"



"There are more pressing things than your family right now, Jay."

Jay screamed out in agony over the words Pat had just spoken.  What could be more pressing than seeing your own family after you just woke up?

A lot of things can be more pressing, Jay.


Yes it is, Jay.

Stop talking...

Jay looked up at Pat and realized the last set of words had not originated from Pat's lips.  Pat was just smiling.  But he had heard an audible voice.  I must be seeing things, Jay thought.

I assure you Jay, you're not.

Jay's eyes widened.  His pulsed began to race, and he scurried away from the table, falling to the floor all the while backing into a corner on the far side of the room.

He can hear my thoughts?  He can talk to me in my own mind?, Jay questioned.

Most people here at The Fleece can, Jay.  It's one of the many perks.

"How are you doing that?", asked Jay, audibly.

"Oh, telepathy, that's a palor trick compared to some of the things that go on in this place, Jay."

"How is that possible?"

"Anything is possible, you just have to know where to find it and how it works is all."

None of this was making sense to Jay, and none of it diminished his desire to see his family.  Now he was more scared for their lives than ever before.  He now knew he was dealing with something extra-human, super-human in fact.

"Genetics, as it turns out, Jay, can be easily manipulated to create a new lifeform.  Even one that has existed for tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, even billions of years.  You just have to know what sequences to change.  That's the difference between being human, and more than human.  The difference between a man of bone, and a man of steel.  Of being Kirk or Khan.  All it takes is a tweak."

Pat crotched down in front of Jay, who was still cowaring in the corner.  Pat's trademark smile was still gleaming.

Jay just stared back at him, unsure where to go from there with the conversation.  He just wanted to escape.

"Jay, you're a very inteligent man, so I want to share something with you.  Something I believe you'll understand readily, and openly have professed in some respects yourself.  It's about the reasons for being..."

This statement did grab Jay's attention, slightly, as one of his lectures had started with this phrase.  Jay always tried to interject phrases he thought his students would remember.

"Have you ever wondered Jay, why there are so many theories out there about where our origins came from?  There are plenty of hypotheticals, but two in particular most people cling to for...understanding, so to speak.  One is creationism, the other is The Big Bang.  One encapsulates billions, upon billions of years of history, of which most of the time the Earth was unlivable for humans.  The other says that the Earth and everything else was formed a mere six thousand, almost seven thousand years ago.  But they're both theories that require faith and diligence to perceive.  Wouldn't you agree with that?"

Jay did not move for a few moments.  Knowing that apparently he was not going to hear anything about his family until this conversation was over, Jay finally knodded in agreement.

"But the honest truth, Jay, no one knows where we came from.  No one knows how.  It's all an educated guess, just like a student would try on one of your tests.  You give them a question to answer, and make all of the answers potentially correct, then that student has to decide which one is the right one for that moment.  The same rule applies to this question, the mother of all questions.  Why are we here, Jay?"

Jay just stared back at Pat.  He finally answered, "You have to be educated to guess."

Pat laughed loudly at that statement.  He looked back at Jay after he regained his bearings, "That's the spirit, Jay, I knew you had it in you."

"What does this have to do with my family?"

After Jay's question, the door to the room openned.  In walked Jay's children first, who immediately recognized their dad.  Both children ran, smiling and screaming for their daddy.  Jay embraced them both.  As Jay hugged them, another figure approached.  He looked up to see Linda standing before him.

"Hey, honey!", Linda said, a big smile filling her face, as usual.

Jay's eyes lit up, he jumped to his feet and embraced her, their children clinging to their legs.  Linda and Jay kissed passionately as they held to one another.  Pat, of course, was all smiles during all of this.

"Should I get you two a room...and a babysitter?", Pat asked.

Linda laughed and looked at Pat, "That won't be necessary.  I would like to take my husband to our room you've prepared for us."

"Of course you can, Mrs. Trent."

Jay, smiling now, looked at Pat, "Am I ok to do that?  How long was I out?"

"Several days.  You injured yourself pretty good.  You hurt Larry pretty badly too," said Linda.

"Larry!  Is he ok?"

"He's fine, Jay, just fine," replied Pat.  "Do go with your wife and settle back in, since you met an untimely event the last time we attempted to do so.  Afterwards we'll get together and talk some more about the things I just brought up, as well as what happened after you left us."

"Did the other guy appear?", Jay asked.

"Rob, you mean?", said Linda.

"Yes, he did in fact, but we may have found a way to stop that from happening.  A way for you to control this phenomenon we had already been discussing", said Pat.

"Perhaps with some of what we have just discussed in here, Pat?", asked Jay.


Pat was smiling at him again.

Jay was still skittish about what happened with Pat before his family arrived, but that was no matter for now.  Now, all Jay wanted to do was take a hot shower and spend time in the arms of his loving wife and children.  After that, he'd indulge Pat's discussion some more.  It was intriguing, afterall.

Besides, how can you refuse a man that knows what you're thinking.

As Jay, Linda, and the kids left the room to head for their, Pat turned and looked in their direction as they left.  Once the door was closed, Pat continued to stand there.  He then began to bark off orders.

"Keep track of them, I won't to know exactly what they do and where they go at all times."

"Yessir," a voice chimed in from a speaker.

"Make sure they are accommodated well."

"Yessir.  What about the others?"

"Keep them in stasis.  Some of the regeneration did not take as well as we would have liked."

"And Mrs. Trent?"

"She was just here, as you saw."

"The OTHER Mrs. Trent?"

"Oh, yes, her..."

Pat pondered that one for a moment.  He rested his index finger to his lips, and paced in the room slowly for a bit.

"Give it some time, and let it play out."

"The longer she is alive there, the greater the risk, sir."

"I understand that.  But she's somewhere she can't harm things, for now.  When the time comes, we'll neutralize her permanently, along with Rob."

"Sever the link?"

"Once Jay is active, there'll be no need for a link anymore."

"Affirmative, sir."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Story # 3.1 Day Dream?

"So what exactly is history?"

Jay was standing before a lecture he was giving for one of his nursing classes.  This particular class introduced his students to the history of nursing, in and of itself.  But, Jay liked to take a walk on the hypothetical side at times, particularly where it pertained to history itself.  This particular time Linda, Jay's wife, was watching his lecture from home.  She always loved to hear him speak, even if it was about something as boring as history to her.  His spin on it was what made it so intriguing.

"Why is it our history is what it is?  Have you ever stopped to think about that sometimes?  Why did it follow suit the way that we today have it recorded?

"What if something is missing?  What if none of it is even true?  What if it has been altered?  None of us in this room were there to witness it, so we have to take everything that has ever been recorded on faith alone, as proof.  But what if it all truly is a myth, a lie concocted for some reason we'll never know or never understand?

For instance, how do we know that the Egyptians didn't have automobiles, planes, or electronic devices of all sorts?  Some mysterious hieroglyphs seem to suggest that something unusual existed back then, as you can see in the slides beside me.  Scholars would have you believe they were worn away glyphs that implied something else entirely.  But, really?  I mean, look at that obvious shape of a light bulb.  It wore the glyph away that uniformly?

"What if the Romans had nuclear weapons?  What if America wasn't the first to have invented the atomic bomb?  Immediately following the fall of Rome the Dark Ages ensued.  Now, was it just because of revolt and uprising or did a man made disaster occur on the part of the Romans?  Maybe they were responsible for the devastating eruption of Krakatoa in 566 A.D, with some sort of nuclear device?  Perhaps not, that's probably a stretch, but who knows.

"Or what if, going back to the time of Noah, the world then was exactly like the world we live in today?  What if they had skyscrapers, billions of lives, and a massive flood destroyed it all, wiped the slate clean?  After thousands of years there would be very little proof of such a thing, depending on when the flood may have occurred.  But what if our world today is just a cyclical rebirth of a world long since forgotten?  What does that spell for our future, and how will it end?"


"Hey!  HEY!", snipped Rob at Linda, who appeared transfixed in thought.  She fell out of her gaze and looked up at the boy who was Rob.

"You better stay focused, lady.  There's no time for day dreaming here."

Rob and Linda were hiding near a loading dock at the back of the hospital for the area.  Only dumpsters separated them from a bevy of zombies nearby, wandering aimlessly.

"Do they always come in bunches like this?", Linda whispered.

"Sometimes.  Sometimes more, a lot more.  But the thing is, you could run right out there, right past them, and none of them even look at you.  Or, you could attract the whole lot of them.  It's just the luck of the draw."

"But, I thought they feed on us?  Our flesh?  Our brains, I guess?  Shouldn't they always come after us?"

"Only in a movie, lady.  These things don't act like that.  I really can't tell you what they want, I just know when they want something you had better be gone, especially if you're what they are after."

"You mean they....they can think?  What kind of zombie is that?"

Rob looked right at Linda, "One that's under someone else's control."

Rob looked back out at the landscape before him.  He saw a gap between several of them, one he thought they could slip through quickly to the adjacent building where there would be safety.

"Ok, lady, let's go!"

Rob darted off, even as Linda pleaded for him to wait.  Hesitating only for a second, Linda jumped up and followed him along the path.

Just as Rob had predicted, none of the zombies were paying either of them any attention.  It was as if both of them were completely invisible and sound proof.  Having only see this kind of thing in movies and on television, Linda was gasping as she passed within inches of several near the path they were on, but none lunged for her.  Both of them made it across safely to the building where Rob had set up his own camp.  It was an old laboratory building that was vacated some time before.

Once inside, Rob bolt the door with his makeshift lock, sealing them inside.

"We're safe in here now", said Rob.

"I can't believe that just happened?  I can't believe we just walked right through those things like they weren't even there?  This can't be real?", said Linda.

"Well, you'd better get used to it, Linda, because it's very real."

"But why?  What's causing this?  And you said they are under someone else's control?  Who's?  Pat's?
  The people who sent us here?"

"Pat is just a player, I'm not sure anyone knows who's actually in control of all of this."

"What happened here, Rob?  The truth?"

Rob stood there for a few moments, staring at Linda.  This was a lot for a young boy to have to answer for.  Boys weren't supposed to have to do that.  They were supposed to collect baseball cars, play basketball, play video games.  Rob was living a nightmare and even he wasn't completely sure of why.

"I don't know the truth.  I just know one day the world was a lot like yours over there and then the next it was this, and lots of people were dying."

"Over there?  Like Dr. Blake said?  An alternate reality?"

"Something like that."

"No it is that, right?"

Rob went on to doing something else, as Linda pursued him.

"Rob, you've been here for a while, right?  You have to know more than you're telling me, something?  Anything?  You can't just wake up in this world and that's just it.  What are you not telling me?"

Rob stopped sifting through items, which he appeared to be looking for food, and planted his arms firmly on the table, his back to her.  Linda stood there waiting for a response.

Rob turned around to face her, "I don't like to talk about what went on here because everytime I do something bad happens, or I go to sleep and something worse happens over there.  It's not worth it.  You think you've got it rough today?  HA!  Look what I've had to put up with lady?  You beating on me, people attacking me, all in a body I have no control over how I even got in it or when.  I just know that this is it, this is all.  So you can shut up and help me find food and drinks, or you can walk back out that door and try to save your own life all by yourself.  It's up to you."

Rob immediately turned around and rummaged again.  Linda looked over the dimmly lit room.  There were all manner of canned goods.  It was obvious Rob had loads of food at his disposal, and drinks weren't far behind.  It looked a little too well stocked.

"Why did he send you here, Rob?"

Rob stopped again, holding a can in his hands, "Who?"

"Pat?  What did you do to deserve coming here, like me?"

Rob turned back around to her, laughing a bit.  "What makes you think he sent me here, like you?"

This puzzled Linda.

"I told you, this is my world, this is my home.  I've lived here my entire life.  My dad, Pat, was here with me too, my whole family and all of my friends.  You don't need to be asking why he sent me here.  You need to be asking why he came to your world in the first place?"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Story # 2.11 Why? Part 2

Light began to illuminate the field of vision.  Shapes soon started to appear.  Finally, the figure of a man, seeming standing over the person lying there, came into view.  A hand reached toward, then back away as the line of sight becaming crystal clear.

"Welcome back, Jay."

The man standing there was none other than Pat, and the man lying on the table beneath him was Jay.  Jay looked from his lying position around the room taking in his surroundings.  To his left were a multitude of people.  Larry, Dr. Blake, Dana, they were all there as well.  Slowly Jay began to rise up from the table and sit there squinting and rubbing his eyes as he continued to get his bearings.

"You've been out for quite a while", added Pat, assisting Jay up.

Jay took his hands down from his eyes to bear witness to a room filled with dozens of people.  Everything from workers from The Fleece, to medical personnel.  Jay was uncertain of where he was at the moment.

"What happened?  How long was I out?"

"Several days.  The important question here, Jay, is what did you experience during that time?", replied Pat.

"I don't remember anything", Jay paused thinking about what he had just said.  "I don't remember ANYTHING."

"That's a breakthrough", said a medical working-looking man standing to the left of Pat.

Jay was astonished by this, "If I don't remember then does that mean I was actually just asleep?"

Pat smiled at Jay, "Miracles can happen."

This prompted a chuckle from Larry.

Jay looked over at him, "Lar, what happened here while I was gone?"

"Nothing but a lot of people worrying themselves to death about ya."

Other's in the room laughed.

Jay smiled a bit, then realized Linda was nowhere to be found.

"Where is Linda?  The kids?"

"Safe and sound, she's got her hands full with those two little ones.  She definitely needs you, sir", replied Pat, giving Jay a big toothy smile.

"Can I see them?"

"All in due time, my friend.  For now we need to run a few test now that you've regained consciousness.  We want to be sure everything is in fact ok.  You had a nasty knocked on the head.  They physician's here just want to be sure with a CT scan that everything is as it should be."

"Well, I understand that, but I would just like to see them.  Like Lar said, I'm sure they've been worried about me."

Pat's tension level was starting to rise, as were some of the others.

"In due time."

"Why don't you just let me see them, that won't take that long?"

"Jay, please don't get worked up, the test will only take about a half hour.  Then you can see your family.  We need to run it while..."

"Let me see them!"

The doctor was not approaching.  A speaker came over the intercom stating that Jay's vitals were once again becoming eradict.

"What is going on in here?  I want to see my family!"

Now, even Lar and Dr. Blake were joining in on attempting to restrain Jay.  With hands all over him, Jay was becoming more annoyed.  He swatted them away as the others tried to talk sense into him.  Jay then took notice of a figure walking into the room through the door.  As he continued to swat away, he looked up to see Britton standing at the door in a nurses uniform.  She quickly turned and went back out.


Jay couldn't believe what he was seeing.  He lunged forward off the table and away from the surrounding people, then out the door Britton had just exited.  He saw her walking down the center of a cooridor that looked like something out of a hospital.  Britton was walking along very slowly, slow enough Jay was able to catch up to her.

"Britton, I can't believe you're alive..."

Jay grabbed her left shoulder and pulled her around to reveal something quite hideous.  It was Britton, only a corpse-like remnant of her former self.  Her flesh grayed with rot, dried and fresh blood covering parts of her face, tattered clothing, and grayed out, dead eyes.  Jay lurched back away from her, but Britton did not pursue.  She stood there, motionless, appearing to stare unabashedly back at Jay.  At that moment, Pat walked up behind Jay, startling him again.

"She won't hurt you, no one here will, Jay."

"What is this?  What is going on here?"

"Jay, Jay.  What do you think is going on here?"

Jay looked around the cooridor, at Britton, then back to Pat, "I looks like the hospital I was in once, only now it's that other world that I go to."

"No, I'm afraid not, Jay."

"But that's where these things are, whatever it is."

"You know exactly what it is, Jay.  Don't play dumb."

"A zombie.  That doesn't exist here, everything is prestine here."

"Right, because you made it that way, Jay."

Jay looked back at Pat with puzzlement, "What do you mean?"

"This is your world, Jay.  It's whatever you choose to make it."


"Because it's all inside your head.  You've created everything in it that you can see, hear, touch, taste, smell.  All of it is inside your mind."

"But I'm awake?"

"Are you?  Think about it, you're standing in the same hospital you were admitted to with a zombie standing in front of you.  Surely you can't think this is real?"

"But back there, in the room, you said I had finally regained consciousness?  All of the people I know were there."

"Except for your family?"

"Except for my family."

Jay looked back at Britton, who continued to stare at him, still motionless.

"Why would my family not be here?"

"That's something you'll have to figure out on your own, Jay.  I'm merely and imprint of a person you experience in your conscious life.  I only know what you know."

"I know my family would be here for me, awake or not!"

"That is entirely up to you, Jay.  Just like whether or not this zombie attacks you.  The literal definition of a zombie is someone under another's control.  So again, it's up to you."

"Maybe she's under your control?"

"That's still an extension of you, my friend."

Jay was becoming angry now.  He wanted this to end, to simply wake up, for real this time.

"Why?  Why have any of you here with me then?"

"The mind is a complex entity, Jay.  It conjures up what it wants to perceive at a moments notice, adding details to things that sometimes no one can explain.  Just like your wife's grandmother."

That last part grabbed Jay's attention.  He had lectured on a similar topic with almost the same example.  Is this really all just in my head?  Have I completely lost my mind?

"Why is the most difficult question to answer.  But I can offer this.  And this is purely based off your own experiences.  Why would a man need to dream about a world destroyed, riddled with zombies, where everyone and everything he has ever cared about no longer exists?"

Jay pondered the question for several moments.  Tears began to well up in his eyes.  As a few drops hit the floor, Jay looked down.  Then he looked back up and said aloud, "Because he doesn't want to exist at all."

With that, Britton snarled at Jay and began moving towards him.  Pat then reached over and grabbed Jay, prompting him to look at him.  Pat too was now a zombie.  The room that was filled with staff and his friends poured out a horde of zombies all making their way towards Jay.

Jay pushed aside Pat, and evaded Britton to charged down the cooridor.  Zombies were now coming after him as he ran away from them as fast as he could.  When he reached the end of the cooridor, more zombies came around the corner.  Jay was now surrounded by the horde.  He saw one patient room door still open, and ran for it quickly.  As the horde barreled down on him, he slammed the door shut and locked it from the inside.

Jay thought this would at least slow them down momentarily, as he went over to the window to try and find a way out.  When he pulled the curtain back, however, zombies littered the outside area as the room was on the ground floor.  They took notice of Jay and began pounding on the glass.  Jay could hear the glass giving way, as well as the door to the room.  Once they got in, it was going to be all over.

In this moment though, Jay had a moment of clarity.  He remembered a lecture about dreams he had heard as an undergrad and what the interpretation of dreams could mean.  Zombies, in this sense, mean that someone's life feels out of control for whatever reason.  At that moment, Jay heard a distinct and crystal clear voice in his head communicating with him.

"Do not be deceived."

Jay acknowledged the voice, as if the person talking were in the room with him.

"You are not in control of this, someone else is."

"Who is in control?"

"You know who."


"Because you want to help, just like grandma."

With that, the door burst open allowing the zombies in.  The window collapsed, and horde spilled over.  Jay was surrounded and would momentarily be devoured.  But he had gained solace in the fact that something greater than him was in control and if he survived this intrusion to his mind, he would find out what that something is, and why it is here.


Linda awoke, her face planted firmly in the asphalt.  She sat up, and brushed herself off.  She was covered in dirt for whatever reason, but was currently lying on the ground in an old loading dock where trucks had once frequented.  As she got her bearings, she could see the ashen sky, gray, deadlike.  Fog crept along the ground in the early, cool, crisp morning.  She had no idea what time of day it was, from her perspective, but her perspective was about to change dramatically.

She knew Pat had done away with her, for some reason.  She now knew Britton was alive.  What she didn't know, however, was where she was at for the moment.  That, however, was about to change.

Linda heard foot steps approaching, and quickly moved to pick up a rod she saw laying near by.  It had been part of the railing of the steps to the dock.  She turned and readied herself to take a swing at the approaching person, only to find it was a young boy.  He couldn't have been more than twelve, and was deshevealed.  But the boy quickly grabbed her attention with what he said next.

"Don't swing, Mrs. Trent."

Linda stopped short of hitting the boy.  She looked at him, bewildered by what he had said.

"How do you know my name?"

"I know a lot about you, Linda.  I'm Rob."

Linda's jaw dropped.  This man, the person inside my husband, is a boy?

Rob just stared back at her as he saw her lower the rod.

"Welcome to my world, Linda.  Welcome to Anderson, South Carolina."

Linda looked around as the fog dispersed some.  She could see the hollowed out buildings, like she was now occupying a war zone.  The scorched earth, pot holes, and dead bodies lying about.  This was the world Jay had told her about from his dreams.  The same world the zombie had come from.  For the first time, someone other than Jay had crossed into the other world he had been experiencing.  Finally, it was proof positive:  this other world is real.  The real question is, why?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Story # 2.10 Why?, Part 1

Pat, Dr. Blake, Dana, and several other members of The Fleece staff and crew were in the large control center of the complex.  The doors came open swiftly and in marched Linda, with a full head of steam.  After having just left Rob and the conversation she had with him, she was ready to pry the truth from Pat's bald head.

She walked right up to Pat, who's back was to her, and stopped just short of charging right into his backside.

"I want answers NOW!"

Linda was breathing heavily, her hair wild and unkempt.  Sweat had formed on her chest as she glared at the man turning to face her.

"Ah, Mrs. Trent.  How can I be of service to you today?", Pat spoke, ending his statement with his patented smile.

"Stop smiling at me!  I've had enough of your bull!  I want to know why my husband is in the state he is in?  Why have you dragged us to this place?  Why are you allowing that...that thing to reside in my husband's body?  Why aren't you giving us the answers you promised when we first go here."

"Mrs. Trent, I can assure you that you have been dragged nowhere with malicious intent.  We even brought your children to you as I recall, who are still present in this facility, safe and sound.  And I am sure you are aware that your own husband crashed into the wall, over there...," Pat pointed to the wall Jay had hit with his head, "...of which we had absolutely no control over.  Frankly we're lucky he didn't kill himself, thus leading to the position of our unwelcomed visitor occupying your husband's body.  As for answers, I've given you all I know."

"That is a LIE!"

"I'm not lying to you, Mrs. Trent."

"He's not, Linda," said Dr. Blake, from behind Linda.

Linda turned and looked at him, astounded by his response.

"You can't be serious?", she replied.

"I know it sounds crazy, but while you have been distracted with your husband's series of unfortunate events, I've been trying to research all of this.  Pat has been helping me by offereing whatever information he knows.  He's been very forthcoming in that regard."

"How can you say that, you idiot?!  You may have PhD after your name, but you have no common sense at all."

"And I think you're responding with overly emotional reactions to everything."

"Lady and gentleman, let's not do this", said Pat, coming up beside both Linda and Dr. Blake, putting his hands on each of their shoulders.

"I think you're both responding with overly emotional reactions."

"I've seen some of the stuff The Fleece is involved with, while you've been busy, Mrs. Trent.  Hear me out here."

Dr. Blake walked over to a console as Linda and Pat looked on.  She was going to hear about this, but had her mind already made on for her next "reaction" as Dr. Blake had put it.

"They have all the same data we have from Jay's scans at Crimson.  They show a minute, almost unseeable, development inside your husband's brain.  It looks like a tumor."

Linda relaxed her posture a bit, "A tumor?"

"Yes!  It looks like one, but it has none of the characteristics of any tumor I have ever seen.  That appears to be where this 'shifting' is occuring between your husband, and this Rob character."

"But why is it there?"

Pat interjected, "Because some thing or some one put it there."

Linda looked at Pat.

"That's right, Linda.  It could be the key to stopping all of this.  It might even be the reason your husband dove into the wall the way he did.  Perhaps he felt it in some way and was trying it out or something", said Dr. Blake.

"Short it out?  You're talking like it's a remote control or something", said Linda.

"Interesting analogy, Mrs. Trent.  That could be exactly what it is", said Pat.

"Some one...", Linda paused for a moment before continuing, "...or some THING is controling my husband.  But why?  For how long?  Why now?  Why him?  He's just a nurse.  We're just a normal family, what purpose would it serve to bring this on him and his family, and tear their lives apart at the seams?"

"The only way we'll find out is to go in and look at it", said Dr. Blake.

Linda couldn't believe what she just heard.

"  You mean surgery?  BRAIN surgery, on my husband?"

Dr. Blake knodded at Linda's question.

"Well, I will never give my consent for that."

"Jay already did", interjected Pat again.

Linda looked at him.

"Over my dead body.  No one is touching my husband's brain, especially when he's not even in his own body."

"We don't know for sure that the man sitting in that room isn't your husband, Mrs. Trent", said Pat.

"You most certainly do.  I DO!  I can look in his eyes and see it!"


"Perhaps nothing!  You know that's a different man in there.  A man that doesn't trust you anymore than I do."

Now Pat's smile faded.

"You've talked to him?", Pat asked.

"Yes, I have!  He can be very interesting to speak to."

"And you really believe anything he talks to you about, Mrs. Trent?"

"I'd believe someone that is as confused as I am before I would you.  You're not so forthcoming as he is.  He feels they way I do, that you're not telling us the truth or the whole truth.  That's why I am here now, to find out why.  Plain and simple, why are you lying to us?"

Pat stood there for a second staring at Mrs. Trent.  He was not smiling.  He was stone faced, a complete blank stare.  It was as if he was staring through Linda rather than at her.  Finally, after many moments passed, Pat was about to speak.

"Because it's necessary."

Linda took a step back.  He actually admits he's lying now?

"Pat!  We have a situation", said one of the controllers.

Pat looked over at them.  The controller had leaned back from the console and was pointing to the screen.  There, Rob in Jay's body was unconscious.  The body was limp, with the head tilted back over the back of the chair.  It was apparent, Rob was gone.  But, Jay had not show back up yet.

Pat scrambled an emergency medical team, including Dr. Blake and Dana.  Linda charged through the door with them.

All Linda could think is that the injury when Jay crashed into the wall had ruptured something in his brain, and potentially killed her husband.  If that were the case, Jay would be dead and any connection to Rob could be lost forever.  All seemed like horribly bad things to consider.  She wanted answers for what was going on, and seeing Rob's world might present her with what she was needing.  But, getting there would be the tricky part and she had no idea how.

As she ran down the corridor back to where Jay's body rests, one of the medical team turned around and grabbed her quickly.  They immediately stuck a gun-like object up to her arm and injected her with something.  Pat had also stopped to witness the injection.

Linda was stunned by all of this, but within a few seconds she was becoming lightheaded, and practically fainted.  The medical staff member grabbed her and guided her to the ground.  As she began to lose consciousness, Pat leaned in so she could see his face still.

"Pleasant dreams, Mrs. Trent.  Good-bye."

With that, Pat turned and proceeded to the interrogation room.

Linda looked over at the medical staff member.  The staff member was female, she could see their eyes, with a mask covering their mouth and nose.  But the eyes let her know a woman was tending to her.  As the light faded Linda wondered what had she been given.  Was it a poison?  She wondered why Pat had said "good-bye."  Was she about to die?  Why though?  Then Linda's mind began to drift away.  She could feel herself slipping away into complete unconsciousness.

Before her eyes closed and everything went dark, the medical staff member pulled down her mask to address Linda.  The staff member smiled at her and spoke one soft phrase.

"Good luck."

The voice sounded familiar, in Linda's slowly slipping mindset.  But the face was unmistakable to her.  The medical staff member was Britton.  All Linda could think, her one last thought, how is she alive and why did she say good luck?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Story # 2.9 The Dream

Rob was still handcuffed with his arms behind the chair he was sitting in.  He was still alone in the room after Pat had left.  He was alone with his thoughts as well.

Why is this happening to me?  Why won't he help me?  I don't understand any of this.  Everytime I close my eyes I keep waking up to this horrifying dream.  He knows where I am, so why won't he help me?  There has to be a way out of this.  Somehow, someway, there just has to be.

Still buried in his thoughts, his affect flat as he stared down at the floor before him, the door to the room openned.  In walked Linda, Jay's wife.

Rob looked up at her, his green eyes shimmering in the light as the door closed beside her.  She stared at him without blinking, completely focused on the man before her.  If looks could kill, Rob would have died before she entered the room.

Linda slowly moved towards Rob, but not gingerly.  It was a motivated and determined gait.  She was there for a reason and it wasn't fear.

Rob took a deep breath, unsure what was about to happen next.  He remembered some of his previous encounters with her and knew they had not gone very well.

Linda stopped a few feet in front of Rob and stood there, still staring into the man's eyes.  All Rob could do is stare right back.  Finally, Linda responded.

With a quick stroke, she took her left hand and slapped Rob across the face as hard as she could.  The jolt nearly knocked Rob to the ground, twisting him sideways and causing a minute amount of blood to come forth from his lips.  Rob could taste the blood, and as he spit it out, he began to chuckle.

Linda continued to stare at Rob as the man leaned back up to face her, now laughing.

"I gotta tell ya, lady, you pack quite a wallop.  Too bad this is still your husband's face."

"You know who you're in?", she asked.

"I know, because I know I don't know you.  So I have to be somewhere else."

"Then why don't you leave?"

"Isn't that the real question?  Why?  Isn't that what's really on your mind?"

Linda just stared at Rob.

"I think the real question you should be asking yourself is will it ever end?  Your husband has been gone for a long time now."

"He'll be back."

"Maybe he won't."

"Maybe I'll make you bring him back?"

"Maybe he's dead?"

Linda got right in Rob's face, "Maybe I'll kill you first!"

"That's smart, kill the body of the man you love because of someone else's mind?"

"It's a risk I'm willing to take to get rid of you!"

"No it's not.  You wouldn't even be in here if I weren't handcuffed still.  You're terrified of me.  I've seen it in your eyes.  I scare you to death and you've never felt that way before.  You've had the perfect life with the perfect family up to this point.  This whole thing has destroyed all of that and it scares the life out of you.  But not because you're genuinely afraid, but maybe...just maybe you like it."

Linda got face to face with Rob, "I DO NOT LIKE THIS!  YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!"

"I know people's eyes.  You're lying just like Pat."

Linda couldn't argue with the fact that even she considered Pat a liar, as much as it disgusted her to agree with anything Rob was saying.  But nothing inside of her liked anything about this man.  At least, she thought.  Doubts were starting to creep in now with every utterance of his words.

"Why do you think Pat lies to you?"

Linda stood back up and took a step back, crossing her arms, "He claims he isn't lying."

"But you don't believe him any more than I do, now do you?"

"I believe he knows more than he is telling us, but that's always the case with men like that.  Men like you."

"Men like me?  When have I lied to you?"

"The minute you entered my husband's body."

"I had no control over entering your husband's body."

"Then who does?"

"Ask Pat."

"He plays games."

"So do you!"

"I'm not playing with you!"

"Yes you are.  You are right now.  Deep down, you like me being here and you just won't admit it.  You'd like to know me better because I'm different from your husband.  Because you long for something more than this life.  Because you're bored."

"You think that is what you see in my eyes?"

Rob knodded.

Linda charged at Rob, coming to rest in his lap with her hands firmly planted around his throat.  She had a death grip on his jugular.  She could feel the strain and anguish in Rob's face as he struggled under her grip.  His face was turning redder by the second as the oxygen supply was being cut off.

"You want to play games, then we'll play games!  You know what I see when I look into your eyes?  A scared LITTLE boy!  A weakling that can't fight for himself, so he takes it out on others when they least expect it.  I wanna know why this has happened?  I wanna know why you've taken my husband!  I wanna know why you did that to that girl!  I wanna know why you're here now!  I want you out!  OUT!  OUT!  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!"

The light was starting to dim for Rob as Linda had just about choked the life from him.  But before he completely faded away, he spoke one thing that changed Linda's mind.

Linda heard this through fading breaths.  With that statement, she released her grip and back out of Rob's lap.  Rob cough incessantly, trying to catch his breath again.  His head drooped as he gasped over and over.

"What did you say?", she asked.

When Rob finally caught enough breath to speak again, he tried to restate his previous statement.

"I...didn't...kill her."

Linda thought some more about this statement.  Is he just lying to me to keep from killing him?  She looked in his eyes and although she didn't like the man, she didn't see anything that told her he was lying about this one.

"I didn't kill that girl."

This time, as he said it, Linda looked directly into his eyes.  He was not lying.  He didn't kill her.

"Did Jay?", Linda had to ask.

"I doubt it, but how do I know what he does when he's here?  The question is, do you think he's capable of that?"

Linda thought for a moment, but replied, "No, I do not."

"Then there's your answer."

"Then who did kill her?"

This question was as equally important to both Rob and Linda.  For Linda it would be vindication of her husband's innocence.  For Rob, it would prove conclusively that he too was not capable of such an act.

"Well, think about that for a minute?  Who's the one person we both know that's lying to both of us?"


"He wouldn't have done it himself, he would have had someone else do it for him.  But it was all for a reason.  He had to have a reason to bring your husband here, just like he brought me here."

"I thought you said you have no control over being here?"

"I don't.  Someone or something keeps forcing my hand.  Until you figure that part out, you'll never have your question as to why this is happening answered.  And if you touch me again, I'll kill you!"

"Feelings mutual."

"Glad we agree on something."

"We agree on two things.  Neither of us trust Pat either."

"So you don't believe I killed that girl?"

"I'll need proof before I believe that one.  But you've given me some direction I needed."

Linda turned to leave the room and headed for the door.

"That's it?  I thought you wanted to know why?"

"I do and now I'm going to find out why.  You just sit tight, sweet pea.  You're about to meet your maker."

As Linda openned the door, Rob hollered at her.

"Did it ever occur to you that if Jay can bring things here, I can take things there too?"

The door was blocking Linda's view of Rob, but she stepped back slowly to visualize him again.  Rob was staring at her as she looked back at him.

"You need to be very weary of how you tread, lady, when it comes to your next action after you leave here.  You have no idea what you're about to mess with.  Of course, that is also a way for me to prove the person I am.  Just be mindful, if you start asking too many questions, you'll get answers you don't really want."

Linda thought about her response for a second, then leaned on the door to ask a legitimate question of Rob.

"Listen, Rob is it?"

Rob knodded.

"If things go bad, can you take me there?"

"Take where I come from?"

Linda knodded.

"You don't wanna go there."

"Is Jay there?"

"Yes, but only when I'm here.  If I went back there, you'd still be with me, not Jay."

"But I could see for myself why you want to be here so badly?"

"Trust me, lady, you don't wanna go there."

"We'll see."

With that final comment, Linda closed the door and left Rob alone again.  Rob sat there thinking to himself once again.

She believes me!  She actually believes me!  At long last, someone believes me.  I have to take her there.  She has to understand what happened, before it's too late.  Maybe she can help me end this horrible dream I'm trapped in too.